Skip to main content

Full text of "Watercraft"

See other formats

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 


Make Projects 

build, hack, tweak, share, discover. 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Written By: angad Daryani 



Multimeter or Continuity Tester (1) 
Soldering Iron and rosin core solder. (1) 
Wire stripper/crimper (1) 
X-Acto knifed) 

Styrofoam sheet (thermocol) (1) 
Fabric/craft glue (1) 
• paper pins (1) 

8-1 OV monocrystalline solar panel (1) 
6v DC motor (600 rpm) (1) 


I built this project when I was in the 6th grade, for a competition at the I IT Techfest in Jan. 
2010. The NT Techfest is a competition for engineering students. However, my love towards 
making this brought me into making this project guide. I am now in the 8th grade! We have 
not given you the measurements of the parts so that you may go and design your own boat 
and its parts. We have only given you info on how to assemble the entire boat. 

© Make Projects 

Page 1 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 1 — Why are we not giving you measurements? 

• You might be getting angry and 
wanting to leave this page, but 
there is a reason behind us not 
giving the measurements. 

• You must design your own boat 
and its parts. Your boat should be 
of the size you want it to be. 

• The reason we are making a small 
model of the boat is so that the 
problems we face while making the 
prototype are not made when 
making the actual full-size model. 

• In this tutorial, we are just giving 
you instructions on how to 
assemble the parts and some info 
on cutting the parts, but not the 

© Make Projects 

Page 2 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 2 — Make your boat's body first 

• Cut your high-density thermorcol 
(styrofoam) according to the size 
of the parts and the number of 

• The 4 fins for the base of the boat 
should be equal in size. However, 
the 5th fin should be half the length 
of the other 4 fins. 

• Double up the 4 fins into pairs such 
that you get a pair of fins and 1 fin 
which is half the size of those. 

• These are your main 2 fins 
(doubled) for your boat. 

• Cut out the base for your boat. 
Make the length of the base equal 
to the lengths of your fins. 

• Make 2 of these bases and 1 more 
piece which is the size of your 

• Cut 12 small square pieces of the 

© Make Projects 

Page 3 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 3 — Now let's assemble the body! 

• Double up 2 of those bases and 
keep 1 base separate. 

• Add the pair of fins you have to the 
bottom of the base, one on each 
side. Add your extra single fin on 
the bottom as well, centered 
between the pair of fins. Place this 
smaller fin toward the front and not 
towards the rear of the boat. 

© Make Projects 

Page 4 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 4 — Let's make the stand for our solar panel 

• Make 4 stands of squares using 
the 12 square pieces we cut, 
grouping them in groups of 3. 
Hence, 3x 4= 12. 

• Place these 4 pillars towards the 
corners of the boat on the top side 
and stick them there using some 
double-sided tape or even normal 
craft glue. 

• Now stick the extra piece of 
styrofoam we cut to our base on 
top of those four pillars so that it 
acts as a roof! 

• Cut a gap in the roof for the wires 
from the solar panel to come to the 

• Using a multimeter, check the 
polarity of the solar panel by 
placing it in the sun and measuring 
the voltage produced. Be careful. It 
is advisable to use a diode so that 
the current doesn't flow back into 
the panel. Stick the base of the 
panel on the roof using some 
double-sided tape and pass the 
wires through the gap you cut. 

© Make Projects 

Page 5 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 5 — Let's make the drive assembly 

• Solder the wires coming from the 
solar panel to a switch and then to 
the 6v DC motor we are using. 

• Attach the drive assembly to the 
motor and apply some hot glue to 
the shaft. Be careful that the glue 
doesn't get into the motor. 

• Now screw your propeller onto the 
drive shaft. 

© Make Projects 

Page 6 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 6 — Let's put the drive shaft on the boat! 

• Cut a "V" shape from the rear of 
the boat towards the place where 
you have stuck your motor, using a 
box-cutter knife or a hobby knife. 

• Now, using small pieces of 
styrofoam, make a small platform 
for your motor so that it's raised to 
an angle and then cut an angle on 
the top of those pieces using your 
hobby knife. 

• Stick those pieces on the top side 
of the base of the boat using some 
normal craft glue. Now screw in the 
motor there, using a "U" clip and 
screwing in the clip on the base. 

• Now you will notice that your drive 
shaft also comes to an angle when 
you stick the motor on that tiny 
platform you built. 

• The propeller on the shaft should 
be 50% in the water and 50% on 
top of the water for maximum 

© Make Projects 

Page 7 of 8 

Solar-Powered Boat Prototype 

Step 7 — Time to test it out in the water 

• Try out this boat in a shallow pond 
or in your bathtub first. See to it 
that the water doesn't enter into the 
base and reach the motor. 

• If your boat isn't floating well and 
the water is entering, remove your 
fins and cut another piece of 
styrofoam equal to the size of the 
base and stick it to the bottom. 

• If your boat floats, you can now 
focus on the acceleration. 

• Make minor adjustments so that 
the propeller is 50% on top on the 
water and 50% in the water. 60% in 
the water and 40% on top would be 
best; however, get as close as you 

This document was last generated on 2012-11-01 11 :39:06 AM. 

© Make Projects 

Page 8 of 8